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Bucks County Playhouse to dedicate historic barn


Bucks County Playhouse will hold a ceremony today, to reopen and rededicate New Hope’s historic Parry Barn as the Bill Harris and Jay Manas Playhouse Barn.

There will be a special performance by Ashley Blanchet, who appeared on Broadway in “Frozen,” “Beautiful,” “Annie,” and “Memphis.” She will be accompanied by Bob Egan, who created the Cabaret of Odette’s, the famed New Hope nightclub where he entertained for 21 years.

The barn, one of the oldest stone structures in New Hope, is being named for two longtime residents of Upper Black Eddy in Bucks County. Jay Manas died almost three decades ago, and Bill Harris died last year after a lengthy battle with Parkinson’s disease. The gift is part of a trust established by Manas.

The gift from the Manas trust represents one of the largest gifts from an individual to the Playhouse to date. The gift will provide funding for the renovation of the Playhouse Barn, as well as supporting young artists and future programming within the newly renovated building.

Renovations to the barn included creating an intimate performance space that will host events like a cabaret series, spoken word/poetry, classic music and other performances by established and emerging artists.

Originally built around 1790, the barn was part of the Parry family property, sitting between the Parry Mansion and Bucks County Playhouse, the site of Parry’s New Hope Flour Mill. The building housed the Golden Door Gallery in the 1960s through the 1980s. Later it was the Celt-Iberia Shop.

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